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Explore the Best Vodkas for Under $20
Saving money on vodka is a tricky subject because it is very easy to get a really bad vodka. Despite all of the advice out there, we cannot always buy the good stuff because our financial situation simply will not allow it.
Some people like to really save money on vodka and opt for the $10 or fewer liters like McCormick, Popov, and Hawkeye. Unless you use a filtering system of your own or want an enormous hangover tomorrow, I recommend that you stay away from those. The cost savings are not... worth it.
The great news is that there are good vodkas that are perfect for those times when we have to go into what I like to call 'extreme budget mode' (I am a professional freelancer, so I understand this issue completely). Trust me, there are inexpensive vodkas out there that you will actually want to drink.
The vodka brands in the following pages are some of the best budget-friendly vodkas on the market today and they can be used to create delicious and frugal cocktails. They range in price from $10-20 and many of them have a nice selection of flavors to try.Continue to 2 of 11 below.
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New Amsterdam Vodka
Clocking in at right around $15 a bottle, New Amsterdam Vodka is a new favorite for the frugal drinker and its handful of flavors are fun to mix with.
This California vodka is distilled five times from American grain before going through a three-stage filtration. For the price, New Amsterdam is surprisingly smooth and I wouldn't hesitate to drink any of these vodkas straight or keep them in stock as a good vodka.
The brand's flavored vodka line is simple and seems to be expanding gradually. As... of 2015, New Amsterdam is producing seven flavors, including citron, coconut, mango, orange, peach, pineapple, and red berry. Each of the flavors is bright and can add a fun twist to any cocktail.
New Amsterdam Cocktails
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.Continue to 3 of 11 below.
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Deep Eddy Vodka
Deep Eddy is one of the newest vodkas on the market and it is making a big splash in a short amount of time. They are at the high end of the 'cheap' list, but for just around $20 they are worth every cent.
Produced in Austin, Texas, Deep Eddy is a handcrafted, small-batch vodka that is bringing the latest trend of fine vodkas into the affordable market. Using a corn base, ten distillations using a column still, and pure Texas water, these vodkas are spectacular and can rival many of the premium... brands.
The biggest difference in the flavors from Deep Eddy are that they each come from natural ingredients. It is a rare treat in the vodka market, let alone in value brands. The flavored vodkas are as clean and natural as the clear and are perfect for cocktails.
The current (2015) list of flavors includes cranberry, lemon, ruby red, and sweet tea.
Deep Eddy Cocktails
- Bloody Shirley Temple (syringe shooter)
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.Continue to 4 of 11 below.
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If you shop around you can find Svedka Vodka for less than $15 a bottle. It also comes in liters, which are readily available and just as budget-friendly.
Svedka is one of the cleanest value brands available. It is produced in Sweden where it is distilled from winter wheat.
The brand is continually expanding its line of flavors as well. They specialize in fruit vodkas, are beginning to experiment with combinations like Strawberry Lemonade and Mango Pineapple, and have even created a very fun... Grapefruit Jalapeno (it works surprisingly well).
Svedka can work in almost any vodka cocktail you could want to mix up. Like all budget brands, I would stick with the easy mixed drinks and fruity martinis that layer the flavors, though there are so many recipes that fall into this category that you will not run out of options.
Svedka CocktailsContinue to 5 of 11 below.
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The Luksusowa bottle may not look as fancy as others, though the spirit inside is surprising given its $15 price tag. If you have been passing by this one on the liquor shelf, consider this your chance at redemption.
Luksusowa is a Polish potato vodka that is crafted in the fine traditions of that country's vodka lineage. It is distilled three times and the finished flavor is smooth, crisp, and clean.Continue to 6 of 11 below.
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At right around $20 a bottle, Finlandia is not the cheapest on this list, though it is one of the most reliable and mixable.
I often use this as my 'well' vodka for medium-sized parties because it is both affordable and exceptionally smooth. Plus, if you need a lot of vodka for the bar, the liquor stores will sometimes give you a case deal on a popular brand like this.
Finlandia is a well-known name in the liquor industry and, as one might expect from the name, it is distilled in Finland. It is... unique in that it is distilled from barley, which continuously goes through "more than 200 distillation steps."
As with most vodka brands, Finlandia has a number of flavored vodkas available. Their list includes black currant, coconut, cranberry, grapefruit, lime, mango, raspberry, tangerine, and red berry (the only one that is not clear in color). Each is perfect for creating fun cocktails that are full of flavor.
Finlandia CocktailsContinue to 7 of 11 below.
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Pinnacle Vodka is known for one thing: funky flavored vodkas. This brand has built a name on stretching the limits of what you thought vodka should be and by regularly releasing some rather bizarre and admittedly fun flavors.
The flavors are where Pinnacle really grabs the attention and with every new release it is almost difficult not to think... "what did they come up with this time."
Pinnacle excels at the dessert vodkas that have dominated the market in recent years, producing a variety of whipped cream, cake, and pie flavors that are a fun novelty. If you are looking for a vodka that tastes like any sweet treat you could imagine, from cotton candy to peppermint bark, cookie dough, even rainbow sherbert, Pinnacle is the brand you should check out.
The brand is now offering over 40 flavors of vodka and it is a list too massive (and ever-changing) to list here. Visit their website to check on the current offerings.
Pinnacle Vodka CocktailsContinue to 8 of 11 below.
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UV Vodka is one of the most popular value brands of vodka available. Each bottle runs just around $10, making it one of the cheapest vodkas in this list.
The key to the brand's success is it's innovative and very colorful flavor line. The clear vodka, which is distilled from Midwest grain is just as good as any of the others, but the colors are what really makes the brand special.
UV Vodka's flavor vodka line is one of the most colorful you will find. The vodkas are not only filled with flavor... but come in a vibrant array of colors that spans the entire rainbow.
The flavored vodkas from UV include Pink Lemonade (try a Pink Flamingo), the very popular Blue (raspberry-flavored, try a UV and Lemonade), Orange, Grape, Citrus, Red (cherry-flavored), and Green (apple-flavored, try an Apple Martini).
They also recently added dessert-flavored vodkas like Whipped, Chocolate Cake, and Candy Bar.
UV CocktailsContinue to 9 of 11 below.
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Poland is known as one of the great vodka countries of the world and, while it may be better known for its potato vodkas, Sobieski will show you how great Polish rye vodka really is.
Beyond being a perfect example of the country's vodka, Sobieski (popularly called Sobi) is one of the best clear vodkas you can find for right around $12. This is a perfect choice for a good vodka and a significant upgrade from those $10 liters.
Dankowski rye forms the distillate of Sobi, which goes through a... continuous distillation process before being married to crystal-clear spring water. The rye gives the finished vodka a rich, silky taste that is actually quite enjoyable on its own.
Sobieski has followed in true modern vodka fashion and has a slowly expanding line of flavored vodkas as well. Most of the popular fruit flavors are available as well as the popular vanilla and espresso.
They are also beginning to tap into that popular dessert market with flavors like Lemon Meringue and Caramel. Possibly the most interesting flavor, however, is Bizon Grass, which only a handful of vodkas have taken on with very limited success.
Sobieski CocktailsContinue to 10 of 11 below.
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Tanaka Vodka may be one of the best vodkas that you never heard of. It runs right around $12 a bottle and is surprisingly clean for the price.
This wheat vodka from Denmark is resoundingly smooth and if you can't find it in your local liquor store there are plenty of online stores that carry it. Because of its earthy flavor and smooth profile Tanaka is great for most vodka cocktails and makes a great base for the Green Carnation, Hollywood Martini, and Kiwi Martini.
Tanaka also has a nice line of... flavored vodkas including black cherry, orange, citron, raspberry, vanilla, and grape.Continue to 11 of 11 below.
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You will be able to find Smirnoff almost anywhere you look and at just $14 a bottle or less, it is one of the most reliable and inexpensive vodkas available.
Smirnoff is a grain based vodka originally from Russia (now produced by Diageo in the UK) that has been around since the beginning of the 1900's. The company's marketing campaign in the middle of the 20th century was instrumental in kicking off the vodka cocktail craze, including the always popular Moscow Mule.
Smirnoff also has a full flavor... line that includes green apple, blueberry, citrus, cranberry, watermelon, orange, raspberry, strawberry and black cherry (try a Black Cherry Breezer). Like most other brands, they have followed the dessert vodka trend and now produce Whipped Cream, Marshmallow, Kissed Caramel, and Iced Cake.
The history of Smirnoff and its founder is actually quite interesting and is a fascinating piece of Russian history. One of the best books that detail the story is The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire and I recommend reading it.